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Review: Victoria Vegan Alfredo Sauce

I was walking through EarthFare shopping for vegan cheeses to use in a vegan lasagne and as I was perusing the sauce isle, I came across this jar of VEGAN ALFREDO SAUCE! Super stoked, I purchased the $7.98, 18 oz jar of sauce, much to the chagrin of my wallet. 

We had lasagne that night but the next night I was planning a great meal of steamed asparagus, spinach salad, and penne pasta with Alfredo sauce. As I was pouring the sauce into the pot to heat, I noticed chunkules and a certain grittiness to the sauce. I thought it was just how the sauce consisted when it was cold. 

Putting the sauce on warm-low heat, I started gathering the supplies to cook the penne and construct the salad. It could not have been more than 3 minutes later that I got out a spoon to stir the sauce and on the bottom of the pan, a thin, filmy layer of brown goop had formed in the alfredo sauce. Hmm… this was unusual. I did not have the sauce on a high temperature and it has already started burning? Weird. 

I tried to stir the sauce lightly so as to not stir up the burnt bits. When the salad was complete, I looked at the ingredients of the sauce; surprisingly, it was exceedingly similar to a sauce that I make every so often! 

Victoria uses cashew cream as the base of her alfredo with garlic and rosemary to flavor it. My mind put two and two together. The grittiness was little bits of cashews that were not completely blended up into the sauce! 

When the noodles were finished, I leerily poured the sauce over the penne and served our dinner. We took bites. OH! At first taste, I liked it. The tanginess of the sauce complimented the creamy aspect. A distinguished after taste set in. It was sour, almost like lemon juice. Jonathan thought so too. I noticed the grittiness I noticed when starting the sauce remained in the cooked sauce. There were little tiny pieces of cashew that remained rigid against the tongue. 

We both switched over to finishing the salad and asparagus without another word about the alfredo sauce. When we finished eating the pasta, I asked what he thought of it. I could tell he did not want to insult the dinner but we both agreed that the sauce was subpar. 

Unfortunately, the sauce does not reflect alfredo at all; even as a standalone pasta sauce, the flavor is not that great and the texture is even weirder. It was not a horrible experience, but this vegan alfredo sauce was vastly different than what I expected. 

I am sure different taste buds have different sensors and such so I suggest you at least give it a try! As for us, we will not be purchasing this product again. Sorry Victoria, but this just is not for us. We do certainly appreciate the attempt concern for creating vegan food items. 

The Verdict:

Taste:         6/10
Texture:      4/10
Price:         4/10
Value:         3/10

Score:        45%  
                    F
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Crispy Grilled Cheese & Tasty Tomato Soup

This combination of foods and flavors will change your life. I am just throwing that out there. We have created a  cosmic concoction of ingredients! Everything about this dinner is easy, quick, inexpensive, and delicious. We were blown away. Here is what you do. 

SOUP

Ingredients:

  • 2 tomatoes                                ($0.75)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes             ($1.25)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil       ($1.50)
  • 2 tbsp onion powder                     -
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder                     -
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley                      -
  • 2 tbsp dried basil                          -
  • 2 tbsp dried dill                             -
  • salt and pepper to taste               -
  • 2 tbsp red pepper flakes         (optional)
Preparation:

Steps are very simple. BLEND EVERYTHING TOGETHER; pour into a pan and heat on the stove until warm! The grilled cheese part is a little bit more intensive but not much.

SERVING SUGGESTION! If you use the red pepper flakes, top with
vegan sour cream and some extra parsley for surprisingly
spicy variation of this already delectable soup! (Tofutti)
GRILLED CHEESE

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of whole grain bread                  ($0.40)
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (EarthBalance)        ($0.27)
  • 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise)     ($0.65)
  • ¼ cup vegan cheddar (Daiya)                 ($0.52)
Preparation:

Lay the bread out and spread 1 tbsp of butter on one slice. (We made two but this recipe serves one) Spread the mayonnaise on the other slice. Lay the cheese on the slice with mayo. Put the slice with butter on top of the other slide with the buttered side facing up. Preheat a pan on medium. Once heated, place both slices buttered side down on the pan. Let sizzle and spread the remaining 1 tbsp of butter on the top of the bread. Use a spatula to check the underside of the sandwich every minute or so. Once browned and crispy, flip the sandwich over to the other side and let sizzle again. Keep checking the sandwich and once both sides are browned, the cheese should be melted and the grilled cheese is READY TO SERVE! 

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Terrifying Taiji Traditions pt 1

Even if you do not follow animal activists and vegan news blogs, you may have heard some scandal over the dolphin hunting in Taiji, Japan. News coverage has leaked to some major networks and the outrage is spreading.

A little back story:

Taiji fisherman have been hunting, fishing, and whaling since the early 12th century. Since the early 17th century, there has been a commercial industry for it. Being so heavily surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, it is no wonder that Japanese traditions have been oriented around the ocean. Traditionally, hunting begins in September and lasts until April. Men would go out to spot a pod of dolphins and when spotted, they would slice the neck of all the dolphins, causing exsanguination, or blood loss, to end their lives. This method was eventually banned so the hunters moved to a different method. They would lower one end of a steel pipe into the water. Using a hammer or mallet, the fishermen would clash and clang the pipe in order to make loud, irritating sounds spread in the water; this alarms and agitates the dolphins. Swimming away from the noises, the men strategically cause a ruckus to drive the dolphins closer to the coastline. At the coastline, other fishermen are waiting with nets to capture the pod. As soon as the dolphins are close enough, they are ensnared and tangled in a net and left overnight to calm down. This is their last night alive. In the morning, the men would pull the dolphins out one by one to slaughtered by shoving a metal pin through the neck and brain stem of the dolphins, dying within seconds. Numerous papers and reports have confessed that this method of slaughter would never be tolerated in the western world, even in the most cruel slaughterhouses. In 1878, a group of fisherman was trying to slaughter a large whale. The whale was very powerful and resisted, pulling many fisherman out of the water; about one hundred men were killed in this incident. Any loss of life is just that, a loss. I wish that humans would not die from animals just as much as I wish that animals would stop dying at the hands of humans.  

Dolphins are sentient, emotional creatures

In Taiji, there is a whale museum which collects different artifacts exhibiting ancient whaling techniques as well skeletal displays of numerous whale species. They have a live tank which is small in size that holds many whales and dolphins. One particular dolphin “living” in the tank is named Angel. She is albino. She was taken from her pod. Her family was slaughtered. She is forced to swim back and forth because the tank is not wide enough for a single dolphin to enjoy a good swim, let alone many dolphins to live together peacefully. Anonymous footage has shown that the other dolphins bully her and push her around. Dolphins are emotional. If a dolphin mother has lost a child, reports have shown that she will nudge her child to the surface to try to revive the passed creature. Angel has been seen to be an outcast and thus reclusive. 

This is only the beginning. I am going to watch the film “The Cove” to learn more about this practice and I will create another post following up.


Yes, that is blood.


Resources:

  • http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10888705.2013.768925
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiji_dolphin_drive_hunt
  • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140202-dolphins-taiji-japan-whales-marine-animal-altruism-science/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20131016_rw_membership_n1p_us_se_c1#
  • http://savejapandolphins.org/blog/post/we-remember-angel
  • https://www.thedodo.com/undercover-footage-captures-wh-458743097.html
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Cut Out Dissection

Animal dissection in science classes continues to be a large issue for vegans, vegetarians, and people with any kind of moral compass at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that dissection is necessary for some people: doctors, veterinarians, etc. However, a Biology class required to graduate for art, English, or other unrelated majors should not include dissection at all, much less as a mandatory assignment.

Here is how I, a vegan, was punished for refusing to participate in dissection.

Two weeks ago, we were forced to do a dissection in lab. Crayfish, oysters, and a plethora if little animals were spread all over the shiny, black countertops for us to pick apart with an array of scalpels, forceps, needles, and tweezers. I have some serious moral issues with dissection, as many people do. My teacher informed us that the next week, we would be dissecting fetal pigs and rats. I finally drew the line there and told her that I would not be participating in that and would like an alternative assignment. Even a virtual dissection. At first, she seemed confused and told me that it would be alright if I brought in a dead deer or other animal to dissect. I said that it wasn’t the specific animals I had a problem with, it was with the practice of dissection itself. She told me to get over it; that the pigs would die anyway, and we were just speeding along the process. In fact, we were saving them from their eventual demise…by killing them earlier. Because that makes total sense, you guys.  She also told me to think of it as bacon, which I explained that I didn’t eat, much to her confusion.

I tried to reason with her. I asked if there was absolutely anything else I could do. She said the dissection was mandatory. I talked with my biology lecture instructor, and she said that she too was completely opposed to the practice. An MS in Biology, and this woman has never cut anything open or attended a dissection. She said that although she has pressured the school to offer alternative assignments, they have refused. Tennessee is one of the few states left where they are not required to provide an alternate assignment to students who object to dissections for moral or religious reasons. 

So, I didn’t go. I know, it’s my grade, blah, blah, blah. But y’know, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, I knew I’d get sick and probably emotional because, hello! baby pigs! I still did the actual grade for the lab by doing my own learning. I filled out all of the “lab questions,” which required much more effort than what the students who attended the dissection had to put in, as I wasn’t there to witness the answers to our questions.

The next week, returning to lab, I brought my lab questions, which were due that day, to my lab instructor. She said that I could not turn them in because I did not attend the lab. Therefore, how would I know the answers to the questions? I told her that I had done my own research online and in our textbook and had written down more-than-adequete answers. She said that it was her policy that students who did not attend lecture were not allowed to turn in assignments for said lecture. 

At this moment, a friend of mine, who has no opposition to dissection, actually yelled out, “He’s a vegan! He’s not going to come in here and cut up dead animals!” The teacher rolled her eyes at me at the mention of the word vegan. She then said that if I had merely let her know that I was opposed to this, she would offer me an alternative assignment. At this point she walked away to poke brains or disembowel kittens or whatever. 

So, I am left with having done the work but not receiving the credit. In the same lab which I attended, she “surprised” the class by bringing in sheep brains and hearts to dissect. Fortunately they were already sliced up as much as necessary, and I never actually had to look at or touch them.

The point of all of this is that I want to know why this is required. Why is it that in an attempt to further my education, I am required to attend a class that does not benefit me in any way but also requires that I violate my own morals. It is an archaic, barbaric practice which does not benefit 90% of the people in the class in any way. I also wonder why I am treated differently than my peers in that class, merely because I am morally opposed to dissection. 



If you’d like, I have the phone number for the school here:


(865) 694-6400

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Savory Spanish Rice & Beans Gratin

My mother would always make us Rice-A-Roni Spanish Rice or Chicken with our dinners growing up. Actually, she started with that “San Francisco Treat” but eventually started to make her own, superior versions of our favorite side dish. She would just add a can of diced tomatoes to the rice and it would give it just that little kick to bring the Spanish flavor! She basically inspired me to get creative when trying to imitate my favorite foods and thus, I created a casserole from one of my childhood side dishes. 



Ingredients:

  • 2 servings rice                              ($0.75)
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes        ($0.62)
  • ½ green pepper, diced                 ($0.35)
  • ½ red pepper, diced                     ($0.99)
  • 1 can mixed vegetables               ($0.65)
  • 1 can black beans                        ($0.99)
  • ½ jar fried onions                         ($0.42)

Preparation:


Preheat the oven to 350°F. I use a wonderful rice cooker from Japan by the brand Zojirushi that cooks wonderful fluffy rice. I just added a can of diced tomatoes to the cooker and made sure the liquid measurements were correct and it cooked beautifully! If you are using a pan and the stove, just cook the rice as per usual and stir in a can of diced tomatoes after it has finished. Layer the rice in the bottom of a casserole dish. Drain a can of mixed vegetables and pour over the rice. Dice the peppers and toss on top of the rice as well. Drain and rinse the black beans and again, add on top. Finally, top with fried onions and throw it in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until browned and crispy! Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and plating. 


Cooking rice with diced tomatoes adds a richness and tangy depth

This dish is very colorful and vitamin packed!

Avocado is my most FAVORITE food ever. I will seriously add
it to any food ever. Ever. So naturally, I added avocado here
AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!



There you have it, folks. A European twist on the casserole that will be sure to satisfy. Let me know what you guys think in the comments! I hope to hear from some of you. 
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Personal Pizzas with Eggplant Crust

Ever thought, why does pizza have to come on a doughy crust? I did too. Well, I was perusing the internets when I came across a unique take on homemade pizzas. Eggplant pizza? What, even? Intrigued, I scanned the recipe; realizing I had the majority of the ingredients I seriously went to Trader Joe’s just to buy an eggplant. Only an eggplant. That’s all. This is the aftermath which a few of my friends so luckily got to enjoy.

Photo courtesy of the Instagram: ZeroDecorum

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant                              ($0.89)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce            ($0.53)
  • 4  vegan italian sausages      ($1.35)
  • ½ cup vegan mozzarella        ($0.96)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil                    -
  • enough coarse sea salt to coat both sides of the sliced eggplant but I did not measure so I am not sure how much that is, sorry


Preparation:


Preheat the oven to bake at 400ºF. Slice the eggplant into ½ inch slices. If sliced too thin, the salting and baking will cause the eggplant to get soggy and crumble. If sliced too thick, the baking process will not make the eggplant crispy enough to hold the weight of the ingredients. I have found that ½ inch thick slices yield the most sturdy, crispy pizzas; every eggplant is different so you may have to adjust the thickness for your liking. Coat both sides of the eggplant with the coarse salt and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Salt brings out the bitter taste inherent in the eggplant; after 20 minutes wipe all moisture and residue off of the eggplant slices. Slice the sausages and fry them in oil until crispy. Heat the marinara sauce on the stove until warmed through. Lightly sprinkle the eggplant slices with sea salt and set on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes but do not let the eggplant get mushy when baked too long. Remove the slices and top with the sauce, sausage, and cheese. Set the oven to broil and place the pizzas in for about 3 minutes, just to melt the cheese. Remove and devour. 

The smaller end of the eggplant will make mini bite sized pizzas
while the larger end makes personal “pan” pizzas

Place the eggplant slices on a paper towel before salting to ensure
the most moisture is absorbed and the bitterness removed

Sometimes the smaller slices will get crispy quicker than
the larger slices so keep checking while baking and remove if necessary
Tofurky is my go-to faux meat
WATCH OUT: Trader Joe’s meatless Italian Sausage contains egg whites!
 
Slice the sausage into ½ inch slices for a more meaty texture
Slice thinner for a crispier variation

I usually place the cooked sausage bites on a paper towel
to soak up that extra oil
I KNOW, I am THAT person who dabs their greasy pizza…

Fav sauce right now: Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil 

Yurm

Whatta feast!

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Oven Roasted Chili-Crusted Cauliflower

Impoverished Vegan is not dead. I promise. I had a really crazy past few months and had to take a little break from cooking and writing. I had to take a school trip to Washington DC at the end of the semester with finals falling as soon as I got back; I was also in the middle of a huge job change. Things have finally settled down. Enough with the personal details. Let’s cook some cauliflower!!



Ingredients:

1 whole cauliflower                  ($0.99)
1 tbsp vegetable oil                      -
1½ cups vegan sour cream     ($0.75)
1 lemon, zested and juiced     ($0.10)
2 tbsp chili powder                  ($0.20)
1 tbsp cumin                            ($0.05)
1 tbsp garlic powder                ($0.03)
1 tsp curry powder                       -
2 tsp sea salt                                -
1 tsp black pepper                       -

Preparation:


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the olive oil evenly over a baking sheet. Peel the green leafy stems from the base of the cauliflower. Cut the base level and flush with the florets so the cauliflower will sit evenly on a flat surface. Stir together the sour cream, lemon zest and juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, sea salt, and black pepper until fully combined. Dunk the cauliflower into the marinade and spread it across all the florets. Make sure the whole head is covered except the bottom. Place it on the baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes or until browned and slightly crispy. The marinade will create a dry crust across the cauliflower. Let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing it into wedges. Enjoy! 


You can use vegan yogurt instead but make sure it is plain

I added extra cumin and garlic powder for an extra KICK!

Do not be afraid to get your hands dirty to spread the marinade!

Yeah… the marinade looks goopy and gross before it is baked

I use a sheet of aluminum foil to keep the baking tray clean

Baking for a little bit extra will make a very crispy crust!

Feel free to experiment with your spices! Use dill and parsley!

For an Indian twist, use more curry powder!

You can cut it into fourths to share with others…

…or just eat the whole thing yourself! (I did.)

Fly on the Wall

“What was that noise?” I ask, waking up from a deep sleep to crashing and clunking sounds.
“Is someone in our apartment?” inquires Jonathan, after I emerge from the bed.

Walking into the living room I see two bright, beady eyes glaring up at me from atop the entertainment center. A sleek, slender, black form hops down and scampers away to hide under the couch.

“SALEM!” I exclaim, probably louder than I should for 2 AM. As I walk back to bed I tell Jonathan  Salem just “knocked over every DVD and Blu-Ray on the top shelf of the stand.”

“Mmmhmmgggg…” he replies, and we go back to bed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“What was that noise?” I cry, terried that someone had just smashed in the front window and broken into our apartment. Slowly, I peer around the corner into the kitchen and see a sleek, slender black form fly by my feet, into the bedroom, and under the bed. I stop. Stare. On the floor lays the broken remnants of a ceramic bowl from our fancy dinnerware, the top of a glass goblet, 3 pieces of a pint glass, and litle tiny bits of food and wine strewn everywhere across the kitchen. Disheartened, I gather a broom and dustpan and plenty of swiffer refills and start to clean.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“What was that noise?” we both yell.

*THUMP, thump thump, CLANG, swish, THUMP, clatter clatter clatter*

“What the hell is she doing?” I try to ask as we see a sleek, slender black form leaping and bounding up and down on top of our feet, hunting her prey.

ZZZzzz….

THUMP!

“What is going on?” Jonathan exclaims, as the same thumping and clanging is occurring on our comforter again.

“Salem is just hunting our toes, that is all,” I sigh as I try to get back into any semblance of slumber.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Salem, get off the table while we are eating!!”

“Salem, move! We cannot watch American Horror Story with your whole body in front of the TV!!”

“If you do not stop eating our avocaods, I will kill you, Salem!!”

“This paper is due in one hour and I still have two pages left! MOVE SALEM!!”

“Fine, stay out there! If you want to run outside every time we open the door you can just live OUTSIDE!”

“I literally fed you 5 minutes ago with a full cup of food. You are not on the brink of starvation so please stop whining!”

“This is vegan mayonaise, Salem. VEGAN! You are a carnivore! Eat your meaty food and leave us alone!”

“If you do not stop eating all of our house plants, I will gladly give you to the neighbors. They have 5 young children that would love to make you into a toy doll!”

You may recognize these scenarios. You probably have exclaimed similar sentiments before. I want you to take one guess as to who Salem is….

THAT’S RIGHT!

A cat. Obviously. Typical feline behavior, yet it never fails to surprise. Our little tiny black cat Salem terrorizes us on a daily basis. Make that HOURLY basis. If she is not getting into trouble she is WHIZZING and ZOOMING with her claws out across the carpet, sounding like a stampede of angry elephants. Yetwe have not killed her…………

I would not trade her for anything, but stories like these make me loathe and abhor her more than Lil Kim hates Nicki Minaj.

This is my life. If you were to be a fly on my walls you would surely hear me either yelling and screaming at my cat that she is “the devil and satain incarnate and she should die in the fiery pits of hell,” or gently massaging her fur and telling her she is “the prettiest cat in the whole world and so loving and gentle and sweet.”

This post has been part of a blogging challenge group!

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:
http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado
http://www.therowdybaker.com                                  The Rowdy Baker
http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                Just A Little Nutty
http://themomisodes.com                                          The Momisodes
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade
http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                                   The Sadder But Wiser Girl
http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home . . .
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                 Stacy Sews and Schools
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                            Someone Else’s Genius
http://www.impoverishedvegan.com                                Impoverished Vegan
http://www.juiceboxconfession.com                             Juicebox Confession
http://www.gomamao.com                                         Go Mama O

Use Your Words

Hello again. It is time for another crazy fun blog using words submitted by: http://www.outmannedmommy.com

Fish ~ Summer ~ Robin ~ Baby ~ Squirrel ~ Unbelievable
Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
Funny that these words were chosen to me because the three of the are animals, (I am a vegan, after all) and one is my absolute favorite season! Not just because it is a break from school, I love summer because of the adventures! (and sometimes misadventures.) I am taken back to Colorado when we went on an unbelievable vacation to the Grand Mesa, the largest flat topped mountain in the US. It is where my dad taught me how to fish and how to paddle a canoe. Squirrels scampered along the ferns and falled pine needles. Red-breasted robins chirped early to welcome in the new day, hopping along on their tiny little bird feet. I have always thought bird feet were structurally strange for their body size, especially robins. Have you ever seen an very plump, round robin? He still hops along with just as much ease as others! I think it is precious. Douglas fir, Foxtail pine, and white-tailed deer scattered the landscape surrounding an expansive lake atop the mountain; the water was as still as glass. That is, until a fish swam up and made the prettiest rings, growing larger until they were no longer seen. We would paddle a canoe to the very center. “Hook a worm. Let it sink to the very bottom. Reel up just about ooooone foooooooot. That should do it,” I can hear him say. Nibble. Tug. TUGGGG!! These fish were actually HUGE compared to my little 6 year old body! They were especially huge to my baby brother, being three years younger than I was. I remember some of them rocked the boat! Once snagged, (the vegan inside me right now is dying, thinking of what I used to do) we reeled quickly until the fish was grabbed, unhooked, and tossed in a large cooler. Okay, so this is not as horrifying to a fish-consumer, but I have been fish free for over a year now and a major reason was my love for all animals. The fishing industry is just too cruel and careless to the fish for my tastes and I personally choose to refrain. This is not a plug for veganism; I am just trying to help you understand my mentality and how strange it is looking back and seeing how the things I used to do have changed so drastically. We would go back to the cabin and descale the fish. Even at that time in my life, I did not want to personally do it. I did not want to cause any additional harm to the creature that I had just taken from its habitat. I will not go into the graphic details but I was horrified at the gutting. It was unbelievable to me that this was a necessary part of life until I realized that it was not necessary in my life. I have loved this prompt because it really has taken me back to good memories in my life with family and vacation. I miss the beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains, the diverse wildlife, and especially the treacherous trails we used to hike. My dad would always go first to test the stability and watch us carefully while we traversed the rocks and dirt. I still think of Colorado when I see robins, squirrels, and even rainbow trout. This is just a little snippet into my life that I have never been able to pull out until now!

I want to send a big thank you to  http://www.outmannedmommy.com for submitting those words. It is unbelievable how fitting they were to my past! It worked out great! I never write personal blogs, just recipes, so this actually has been a very nice change of pace to my normal routine. I look forward to the next blog challenge! If you liked this post, I may just write more of my life and feelings because I have greatly enjoyed writing this. 

Here are the other participants! Read their crazy words!

http://bakinginatornado.com                      Baking In A Tornado
http://followmehome.shellybean.com              Follow me home . . .
http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com       Stacy Sews and Schools
http://www.outmannedmommy.com/              Outmanned
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                Someone Else’s Genius
http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/               Confessions of a part-time working mom
http://www.themomisodes.com                   The Momisodes
http://www.impoverishedvegan.com               Impoverished Vegan
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com              Spatulas on Parade
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                     Battered Hope
http://www.eviljoyspeaks.wordpress.com            Evil Joy Speaks
http://www.JuiceboxConfession.com                      Juicebox Confession

Secret Subject Swap

I am doing things a little bit differently today. I stumbled across a blogging community that takes blogging to a whole new level! They get together and challenge each other to write blog posts that have a very specific point; today, we are secret subject swapping! Most of the bloggers are humor writers and they have some really great posts. I have noticed there are numerous mothers participating so if you have a child, I would totally recommend reading some of these women! They are hilarious. This was my subject:

There are no hurdles or constraints whatsoever, so If you could arrange a special surprise that totally blows their mind for someone, for whom and what would it be?”

As a food blogger, my first go-to would be to cook for someone! But who… There are many, many people for whom I would absolutely LOVE to cook for, so narrowing it down will be quite the task. I look to my friends. I have successfully cooked for many of them with great compliments and astounding praise. I love preparing a meal, serving it, and watching my guest consume the food and enjoy it thoroughly. It really does bring me great joy when others have joy. Hmm…. Who could I cook for that would bring me joy if they enjoyed my meal? 

I then think of a chef that changed the world. Julia Child. Wait…
THE Julia Child? Why, yes. 

Julia Child.

If I could arrange a special surprise for someone that would totally blow their mind with no constraints whatsoever, I would cook for Julia Child. 

TIDBIT of the day: the last meal Julia Child ever consumed was French Onion Soup. 

This is where this post gets crazy. I am going to assume that Julia could come back to earth for one day. She would get to relive her last moments of life. I am going to prepare an exquisite, vegan version of French Onion Soup, and take her to the National Museum of American History, where her beloved kitchen is now on display because she donated it for the love of food. I want her to be able to know and appreciate the effect she had on the world and on food. Her last book, My Life in France, ends with the quote: 

“… thinking back on it now reminds that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite – toujours bon appétit!”

Wow. Bon appétit! 

That was her special catch phrase she uttered at the end of her cooking show! Getting back on track, I would like to propose a special recipe for the second last meal of Julia Child. 

What would I use? How would I make it exquisite? Would it be good enough? She is the authority on French cuisine and I am attempting to make her a meal????

What have I gotten myself into?! 

Okay, do not panic. Keep Calm and Carry On, or whatever that weird meme is. 

For the base…
I imagine a wonderfully rich vegetable broth with carrots and celery, boiled down to a thick consistency.
When you start to sauté the onions, the kitchen will reek with unbelievable scents. Add a bit of garlic and everyone will start to drool…

Place some herbes de provence in the onions and the spirit of France will come alive in your kitchen! 
Transfer everything to a soup pot and start to simmer to a boil. 

French Onion Soup must be accompanied by bread of some fashion.
Start to toast sliced french baguette in a toaster oven and add a basil pesto halfway through. Once the toast is crispy, remove from the oven and let sit until the soup comes to a boil.

Place the savory soup into individual bowls and top with a slice of the basil baguette. All of the ingredients will be toasty and warm and now comes time to top with cheese!

CHEESE?! But this is a vegan blog! 

“You do not consume cheese!” some may say.

Alas, there does exist some creation of a vegan cheese that would adorn this soup most royally. 

Daiya makes an excellent vegan havarti cheese that comes from the vegan goddess of cheese! I actually used this on my Buffalo Tempeh Burger awhile back! It was divine. 

The soup is almost complete. With herbes de provence, the french scent is heavily apparent. Basil baguettes top the savory soup with a crisp crunch. Heavenly havarti adds a sharp undertone to the top of the soup. All that is left is the garnish. 

Take a sprig of rosemary and shed those little leaves upon the melty, gooey, crispy, crunchy, savory, salty soup for the perfect vegan French Onion Soup! 

If this intrigues your senses, look forward to the specific recipe coming soon! This super exciting blogging challenge gave me the inspiration to construct a vegan French Onion Soup in real life. I will shop this weekend and try to bring this potential recipe to life! 

A huge thank you to Confessions of a Part-time Working Mom for this wonderful prompt! To read more of her stuff, click here! 

This challenge has been organized by Karen, her blog HERE! 

To see the other entries in the challenge this month, here is a list of the blogs that are participating in this Secret Subject Swap! 

(trust me, this was exceedingly fun and made me think of a fun way to write my blog!)

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado

http://themomisodes.com                                             The Momisodes
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com                    Stacy Sews and Schools
http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home . . .
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                         Someone Else’s Genius
http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/              Confessions of a part-time working mom
http://www.dribblesngrits.com                                    Dribbles and Grits
http://www.impoverishedvegan.com                          Impoverished Vegan
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com                         Spatulas on Parade
http://dinoheromommy.com/                                      Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://morethancheeseandbeer.blogspot.com              More Than Cheese and Beer
http://www.eviljoyspeaks.wordpress.com                  Evil Joy Speaks
http://www.JuiceboxConfession.com                         Juicebox Confession
http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com/
                        Climaxed
Please visit these wonderful blogs and look forward to the next installment of these awesome blogging challenges! 

being vegan has never been so affordable!